“Pakistan will retaliate if India attacks,” says Imran Khan

Picture credits: Al Jazeera

Breaking his silence four days after the Pulwama attack, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan denied that Pakistan had any role in the attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber last week. He said that Pakistan will retaliate if India attacks the country and demanded that India show proof of Pakistan’s involvement in the attack.

“All this ‘attack Pakistan’ talk is all keeping elections in mind. But if at all these are serious, please make note of one thing clearly – Pakistan will not think of retaliating, it will retaliate. There will be no other option left with Pakistan,” he said in a video message.

Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier today, Army Commander Lt Gen KS Dhillon said in a press conference that the Jaish-e-Mohammad is backed by the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s intelligence agency).

The Pakistani Prime Minister said his government was ready to cooperate with India on the Kashmir attack investigation. He said,”If you have any actionable intelligence, give it to us, I guarantee that we will take action. And we will take action not because of [external] pressure, but because these people would be enemies of Pakistan. If anyone is acting from Pakistani soil, they are harming us.”

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted his response to Imran Khan’s statement.

Pakistan also appealed to the United Nations to intervene.

“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.

“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.

Compiled by Abhinaya with inputs from Al Jazeera and NDTV.